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on a positive impact

Interview 2017 J&J OYW Scholar Patience: A biomedical engineer with a passion for patient safety

Patience Osei is a biomedical engineer born in Botswana with a passion for patient safety, global health and the development of high quality and low-cost medical devices. In 2017 she was a Johnson & Johnson One Young World Scholar and in 2018 a Johnson & Johnson Devex Fellow. Read more about Patience’s story below.


To begin – how did you hear about One Young World (OYW) and the J&J OYW Program?

Patience: A good friend of mine recommended the Summit to me. It sounded like a great opportunity so I did some research online and learned about the Johnson & Johnson Scholarship Program. I immediately knew it was for me! I applied for it and was incredibly thrilled when I was accepted.

What was the greatest benefit for you taking part in the program in 2017?

Patience: It was a wonderful experience! I am from a country in Southern Africa called Botswana and moved to the US in 2010 to study Biomedical engineering on a scholarship. Right now, I am working as a Human Factors Engineer at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland (USA), one of the best hospitals in the country. I therefore have first-hand experience of the variations in care between the developed and developing world. Through the One Young World program I was exposed to so many people, projects and resources; a great environment for sharing and collaborating. This was a one of a kind global platform for me to discuss disparities in global health with others.

If you had the chance to change one thing overnight in healthcare, what would you do? Where do you see the greatest need?

Patience: Bridging the healthcare gap between the developed and developing world. This means having the same or similar healthcare resources in both contexts. Here’s an example of a recent, very personal experience: my father had a sudden stroke in May and passed away at one of the best hospitals in Botswana. When he was admitted there was no functional CT scan available, which could have potentially saved his life.
There are always little things that make a difference and bridging the healthcare gap across the world, is my great passion!

This year`s summit OYW overarching theme is “diversity” – what does it mean for you in your context?

Patience: We really need “Diversity” in every aspect – especially the people working on the front lines of healthcare. Multi-disciplinary teams are essential – regardless of color, gender or any other aspect – to drive innovation and find solutions for pressing needs. It doesn´t matter if you are a cleaner, a nurse or a doctor in a hospital. Everyone contributes. “Diversity” for me means different voices coming together as ONE.

J&J`s focus for One Young World 2019 is “Resiliency For Change” how would you interpret this?

Patience: The healthcare sector always was and will always be a high-risk environment. We are dealing with real lives. Saving people`s lives or improving the quality of care requires a lot of courage and “Resilience for Change”. Sometimes you receive pushback. But we constantly have to challenge processes and try new ways of doing things, otherwise we won`t find solutions for the world´s most pressing healthcare needs.